Here are my answers to the “Holiday Quiz,” borrowed from another blogger.
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate, with marshmallows.
2. Favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Candy (that’s not dessert, is it?)
3. Favorite Holiday Dessert? Whatever’s available that has plenty of sugar in it.
4. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa doesn’t exist, people! But I think I get the point of the question. I couldn’t care less about wrapping paper. If you’re getting me a present, I’d just as soon get it in a brown paper bag. It’s cheaper, easier, and cleans up more quickly. Some people say, “But the wrapping paper shows that you care!” Bull crap, I say. The GIFT shows that you care. The wrapping paper shows that you’re a weenie, and you like to laugh at me while I try to rip it off the gift.
5. Colored or white lights on tree/house? Christmas lights are both expensive and dangerous. They start fires, and they’re a hassle to put up. I know my wife disagrees with me, but I could live without Christmas lights.
6 Do you hang mistletoe? No. If you’re someone I would normally kiss, I’m going to kiss you with or without the mistletoe. If you’re someone I won’t kiss, then no amount of hanging dead plant is going to change my mind.
7. When do you put your decorations up? I don’t.
8. Favorite holiday memory as a child : One year, my parents made a big deal out of being short on cash. They began mentioning as far back as September that Christmas might be a little “small” this year, because of their budget shortage. On Christmas morning, we kids weren’t expecting much, and didn’t get much, but it was a nice family time. We each had a couple of small presents, and that was enough. We ate breakfast, and talked, and it was fine. Then my mom said to my dad: “Bill, didn’t we have one or more presents still in the closet?” When they came out of the closet, they were each carrying armloads of gifts — dozens more! To this day, I wonder how long my parents schemed and planned for that one, and I admire their imagination.
9. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I always knew Santa was just a guy in movies and books. And I’ll always thank my parents for not lying to me about him. I’ve seen some other children just devastated when they realized he wasn’t real. It’s more special to receive a gift from a real person in your life than from some creepy old guy who sneaks into houses where little children live. The law says I can shoot a man dead if he comes into my house uninvited.
On the other hand, I was fed hundreds of myths about Christopher Columbus, Native Americans, and other historical figures (from school, NOT from my parents), and it took me a while to unlearn all the crap those ignorant teachers fed me.
10. At what age did you stop believing in Santa? see last question.
11. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? As children, we started a tradition of opening one present each on Christmas Eve, usually the present we’d drawn names for. It gave us something to do while we eagerly awaited the next morning. Now, though, it depends on when the family can get together. Sometimes, part of the family will do Christmas Eve on the 24th and the other part on the 25th. One year, because of the timing of my dad’s vacation time, we didn’t actually have Christmas until a few days later.
12. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? I don’t. Sometimes, I’ll help my mother with hers, reaching the taller parts of the tree, with my freakishly long arms.
13. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love snow. I wish it would snow every winter like it did here a few days ago. six inches, a foot, two feet — that would be great. The only problem is that this area isn’t equipped to deal with it. People don’t own snow shovels. The cities don’t have enough trucks to keep the roads clear. And people haven’t been trained to drive on it.
14. Can you ice skate? I have before. I prefer roller skating.
15. Do you remember your favorite gift? I’ve received many thoughtful and wonderful gifts over the years; I don’t think any of them really stand out above the rest.
16. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being with those I love. As far as the “spirit of giving,” or people being “merry,” I don’t understand why we have to reserve that for a particular season. Isn’t that a little selfish?
17. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Getting time off work/school.
18. What tops your tree? I don’t have a tree. As a kid, it was either an angel or a star.
19. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? As a kid, I preferred receiving. Of course, I didn’t have an income, so I couldn’t give much. But now, I like giving better, especially if I know the gift is something that the receiver wanted. I’m always a little hesitant to receive a gift, because people have given me some REALLY interesting things over the years. (By “interesting,” I mean, “something I could never use and would never want.”)
20. What is your favorite Christmas Song? “Blue Christmas,” by Elvis Presley.
21. Candy Canes! yuck or yummy? I love almost any candy, including canes.
22. Fave Christmas Movie? It used to be “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but now I think “Die Hard” is my favorite Christmas movie. (Or possibly “Home Alone.”)
23. What would you ask Santa for this year…(and it has to be a material thing..none of this “world peace” or “happy family” stuff!) A gift card(s) from Best Buy.
24. List your ten favorite Christmas songs/carols: I didn’t know there WERE 10! Wow. Um, I like “Blue Christmas” (Elvis Presley), “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (the version in Love Actually ), “Do You Hear What I Hear?” (can’t remember whose version I like the best), “Silent Night” (Charlotte Church), “Winter Wonderland” (Louis Armstrong), “Silver Bells,” and “O, Come, All Ye Faithful.” There are probably a couple of others.
25. What’s your favorite Christmas TV special? Can anyone say “Bowl Games”?
26. How exactly does Santa get his reindeer to fly? Cheech Marin always said it was “magic dust,” by which I assume he meant cocaine. That seems plausible.
27. Why does Rudolph have a red nose? Heavy drinking. I’d be an alcoholic too if I only worked a couple of days out of the year and spent the rest of the time above the Arctic Circle.
28. Does your family put up an artificial Christmas tree, or a real one? We tried both over the years. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.
29. Describe your favorite Christmas tree ornament: My dad has some really cute airplane ornaments.
30. What’s the most annoying thing about Christmas? There are quite a few actually, and I can’t rank them:
*That damn guy in front of every store who’s ringing a bell and asking for donations to the Salvation Army. Look dude. I know what the bucket’s for. If you’ll quit ringing that bell, I might actually give some money.
*That it starts earlier every year. Eventually, Christmas shopping will start in March, and the radios will be playing Christmas music in February, “getting ready” for the next “holiday season.” The reason these things are special is because they only happen once a year, so let’s keep it that way.
*That you’re expected to give gifts at work too. I’m already spending out the wazoo to give gifts to the people I really care about — my family and friends — so I don’t need to be forced into some name-drawing exercise in futility at work too.
*I also hate that Christians are up in arms about what the season is to be called. They want every store in the entire nation to say “Christmas” every single time. I’ve got news for you: Christmas IS a “holiday.” So “holiday season” is fine with me. I don’t need Wal-Mart to remind me what holiday in particular I’m celebrating. I know it’s Christmas.
31. What would be your one Christmas wish for this year? That my wife, who’s from New York, won’t be homesick during the holiday.